Mechanizing Tribal Rainfed Agriculture in India using Small Farm Machinery
Prabhakaran Raghu, Kalaiselvan Nagappan, Arivudai Nambi Venkatachalam, Maria Philip Pakkam Irudayaraj
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Biodiversity Department, India
India the second most populated country in the world with 1.21 billion people, has since the 1950s an average annual population growth rate of 2.0 % (Census 2011). It is predicted that India will have 1.63 billion people by 2050 (Population Reference Bureau). The Indian economy continues to be dependent on agriculture and it contributed 12 % to the national gross domestic product (GDP), although there has been a steep fall in the use of labour in agriculture which fell from 60 % in 1999 to 52 % in 2009. Increased off-farm job opportunities with higher wages lead to migration of labour to the cities. Approximately 2 million people are shifting from rural to urban areas annually and about 22 million people have migrated since 2001.Per capita availability of agricultural land has declined from 0.48 ha in 1951 to 0.16 ha in 1991 and is projected to slide down to 0.08 ha in 2035. These have brought about visible changes in agriculture, notably mechanisation.
Keywords: Drudgery reduction, farm machinery, labour deficit, seasonal migration, smallholder agriculture in tribal areas
Contact Address: Prabhakaran Raghu, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Biodiversity Department, Third Cross Road Institutional Area, 600113 Taramani, Chennai, India, e-mail: tr.prabhagmail.com